Investigator Discussion


Class Discussion

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If Dexter had access to poison, he would have used it long ago to get rid of his sister. "Deedee! Get out of my labora--"

Ohh, you mean that Dexter.


Is Knowledge (any) supposed be Knowledge (all), under the Investigator's list of skills? Is this a typo, or am I missing something related to the class mechanics?


Aberrant Templar wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
One possibility--when you use inspiration on attack rolls, it also adds to damage? You don't get that many boosts every day, but at least you can do 1 or 2 stronger attacks each day at low levels.

I like this idea. I also like the idea of using Inspiration to make a sneak attack. Which wouldn't give the investigator the sneak attack ability directly, but would still let the investigator do extra damage occasionally (and unexpectedly).

I definitely like having options, particularly since the Inspiration pool is such a limited resource. So the player could choose how to use those abilities depending on what sort of investigator they want to make. Using inspiration personally would make more of a combat pragmatist style "two-fisted" investigator, while using them to boost your allies would make for a more cerebral investigator who boosts the rest of the party.

I would REALLY like to see something other than sneak attack. Sneak attack takes a ton of setup and requires heavy feat support. And the first though I had for this class was to use a Sword Cane and a Pepperbox. (though, not together)

What you have when you mix alchemist and rogue, you see the exact same damage progression (1d6 at 1st and every odd).

The difference here, is that I would like to see the investigator have a less sneaky way to get a similar effect. SO, I would like to see a limited use ability (probably divorced from Inspiration) that adds damage to weapon attacks. To that end, here's my idea:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---
Deductive Maneuvers: At 1st level an Investigator learns how to predict the moves and defenses of his opponents. To use Deductive Maneuvers, the Investigator must first succeed at a knowledge check to identify the creature. If the investigator fails this check, he may not use Deductive Maneuvers on that target. Deductive maneuvers can be used in two ways, either offensively or defensively.
To use this ability offensively, the investigator can declare that he is using Deductive Maneuvers before making an attack roll against a target within 30ft. If this attack hits, it deals 1d6 additional damage. This damage increases by 1d6 at 3rd level and every three levels thereafter, to a maximum of 7d6 at level 18. This is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit.
Alternatively, the Investigator can use Deductive Maneuvers to bolster his defenses. The Investigator can use this ability when a creature makes an attack roll against the investigator, but before the results are determined. The investigator gains a +1 insight bonus to his armor class against this attack. This bonus increases by +1 at 3rd level and every three levels thereafter, to a maximum of +7 at level 18.
An Investigator can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 plus his intelligence modifier, plus one additional time per day for every level after 1st.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---


Calybos1 wrote:

If Dexter had access to poison, he would have used it long ago to get rid of his sister. "Deedee! Get out of my labora--"

Ohh, you mean that Dexter.

The other dexter tried that before I thought. Got it mixed up with mutagen. Nostalgia... Anyways, led to destroying a city in a Kaiju fight. And that's why you don't use poisons.


But the original Dexter would make a great Investigator: brilliant, sneaky, and surrounded by explosives.


This seems like a nice replacement for the Vivisectionist Alchemist (as far as trading bombs for sneak attacks) without the darker flavor that got it banned from PFS. The thought of an alchemically enhanced rogue I find fascinating- reminiscent of Chakan from the old eponymous Sega Genesis game.

Grand Lodge

Makarion wrote:
Aberrant Templar wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
I like Poison Use, and thinks it fits thematically

I'm asking this with absolute sincerity ... how does "poison use" fit thematically with the concept of an "investigator"?

Can you name one literary or cinematic investigator who has ever poisoned people? Not just "deduced that poison was used" or "identified the poison used" but actually made personal use of poison against opponents?

It would be one thing if poison use was an option that could be selected as a talent, or gained through a villainous archetype, but as a base ability?

I could see Dexter (from the eponymous TV series) here. And I am pretty sure that James Bond has used laudanum drops before.

Dexter could be an investigator. That's one. But I think he'd be the exception that justifies making poison use an alternate or optional ability instead of a base class ability.

Sovereign Court Contributor

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I think poison use makes sense. Poisons don't have to be evil, despite what the paladin says. If they incapacitate or take out someone without killing, they could be very handy. After all, ability damage heals.

And yes, Batman's belt has knockout gas. On Sherlock Holmes, read this article. Holmes was an expert on poisons and their use.


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I made an Investigator last night for a playtest, and wanted to share my impressions:

-We used 15 point buy, and I went with Human for the extra skill point.
-I wanted to him Lawful Good, and a champion of the downtrodden - sort of an Intellectual Paladin. This had problems from the get-go, but I still think it would be incredibly fun to see manifest.
-When making the character, I was acutely aware that this class was a mish-mash of Rogue and Alchemist. Bonuses to Craft (Alchemy) didn't seem to fit for me, neither really did Trapfinding. Extracts were nice, and I imagined them as gadgets more than extracts, which helped quite a bit for my imagination.
-I kept finding myself wishing that instead of getting the bonus to Craft (Alchemy) or Trapfinding that I could get a bonus on other skills. I imagined either a Signature Skill - you could say that for Holmes it was Sense Motive, or perhaps Knowledge (skills); Batman might be said to master Stealth, others might beat the information out of people, and so Intimidate might get a bonus. That seemed really interesting to me. I began to imagine my character with a bonus to Use Magic Device, and being a gadgeteer of sorts. Conversely, identifying a potion or poison made total sense. I think poisons could be identified by heal, however, and I could see (again) identifying potions, or other magical implements by my Use Magic Device skill.
-Additionally, I began to think about a trait that my wife took in our current RotRL campaign which allows her to gain a bonus on a trained skill of her choice, which she can choose each morning. Essentially, every day: she can pick to have a bonus on a different skill. That also seemed to fit the Investigator. Finding the proper manuals and guides to take with him into the wilds to identify poisonous plants (Knowledge: Nature), or perhaps a bit of chalk for his hands to assist his grip before an arduous mountain hike (Climb). That seemed to fit nice as well. I think both could fit more the flavor of the class than Craft (Alchemy) and/or Trapfinding.
-Looking ahead, poison use and poison resistance also made me scratch my head. Particularly, for my Lawful Good character concept: using poisons was antithetical to me. Which put me in the position of not benefiting from one of my early class abilities, or altering my character concept significantly. I decided on the former, which isn't too bad, but a bit disappointing. I think they may be better as an optional ability.
-Inspiration is fantastic, although I was confused a lot by the rules. Additionally, there was a section where it said that I could add 1d6 for 1 point of inspiration for Knowledge, Linguistic, and Spellcraft checks, but then there was a talent that let me do that as well. I think this was an editing error, but with how confused I was on them, I wasn't sure. I found it odd that the majority of times I could use my inspiration, I felt as though I was penalized (paying 2 points for 1 extra die). I understand logically, that it's a matter of expense for the benefit of a bonus to your check, however, it would have felt more satisfying if I could use the extra bonus for all Skill checks, or if I could (again) designate a small subset of Skills to use my inspiration on at 1 for 1. Perhaps starting with one of the various talents that opened up what skills you could use it on, and helping to define your character: are you a charismatic investigator, or an intellectual one? Are you Constantine, with Knowledge: Religion or Planes and Spellcraft, or Sherlock with Perception and Sense Motive?
-Finally, as has been mentioned numerous times: I felt that in a few levels: my investigator-self was going to be turned into a ninja assassin with the amount of Sneak Attack I was getting. I wished there was more interesting ways of using skills, and less combat prowess: in short. Definitely some combat prowess, but less stabby, more tricksy. If that makes sense.


There's also the fact that Poison Use stops you from accidentally poisoning yourself.

Actually using it? Maybe not.

Learning not to nick yourself and hope there's a Cleric around when you examine a poisoned weapon? Handy skill.


Oh, and another ability that I really wanted was Urban Tracking. I think that might really work well as a talent.


slayer_of_gellcor wrote:
Oh, and another ability that I really wanted was Urban Tracking. I think that might really work well as a talent.

Can I ask what you mean by Urban Tracking?

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Aberrant Templar wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
I like Poison Use, and thinks it fits thematically

I'm asking this with absolute sincerity ... how does "poison use" fit thematically with the concept of an "investigator"?

Can you name one literary or cinematic investigator who has ever poisoned people? Not just "deduced that poison was used" or "identified the poison used" but actually made personal use of poison against opponents?

It would be one thing if poison use was an option that could be selected as a talent, or gained through a villainous archetype, but as a base ability?

I think some people are getting hung up on the word 'poison'. Try using the word 'drug' instead.

Pathfinder poison isn't save or die. Any investigator that uses knockout gas, chloroform, tranquilizer darts, or truth serum is using the Pathfinder equivalent of 'poison'.

The types of investigators that I am thinking of are more like Michael Westen, MacGyver, or the Impossible Missions group.


This is my favorite class and I love the alchemy and poison use with the investigator theme.

I also worry that this class replaces Rogue or at least changes the Rogue's place in the game. Before: Rogue was THE go-to skill monkey class and that was it (as Ninja is the mechanically optimal build for just back stabbing if only due to invisibility). I am also a little put off by the investigator's lack of real combat differentiation at low levels.

This is probably what I would prefer to see:
-Full "sneak attack" progression BUT the investigator must spend an inspiration point to get access to it by "studying" the opponent as a swift action or something. Let's say this can give the investigator sneak attack against that enemy for a number of rounds equal to 1+intelligence modifier.
-Offset the walled-off sneak attack limitation with a bigger inspiration pool (like 4+int and then 2 more per level thereafter; maybe that is too much? I really just want more cuz inspiration is so damn neat)
-Some access to ninja-like smoke bomb abilities powered by inspiration points rather than ki-points.

What do people think of that?


slayer_of_gellcor wrote:
-Inspiration is fantastic, although I was confused a lot by the rules. Additionally, there was a section where it said that I could add 1d6 for 1 point of inspiration for Knowledge, Linguistic, and Spellcraft checks, but then there was a talent that let me do that as well. I think this was an editing error, but with how confused I was on them, I wasn't sure. I found it odd that the majority of times I could use my inspiration, I felt as though I was penalized (paying 2 points for 1 extra die). I understand logically, that it's a matter of expense for the benefit of a bonus to your check, however, it would have felt more satisfying if I could use the extra bonus for all Skill checks, or if I could (again) designate a small subset of Skills to use my inspiration on at 1 for 1. Perhaps starting with one of the various talents that opened up what skills you could use it on, and helping to define your character: are you a charismatic investigator, or an intellectual one? Are you Constantine, with Knowledge: Religion or Planes and Spellcraft, or Sherlock with Perception and Sense Motive?

Might want to double check inspiration. You do spend 1 for 1 unless its for combat, and your investigator talents can reduce it so that its free. You don't spend any for UMD, Knowledge, or linguistics right from the get go if your trained in them(1 point). The investigator talent that augments those skills I just mentioned, intelligent inspiration, allows you to use inspiration with those skills untrained(I'd rather cough up the skill points myself)


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Rogue Eidolon wrote:

Yeah, I wanted to start conservatively, since the class has to be careful about overshadowing the rogue. Maybe something else at lowest levels combined with reducing higher level sneak attack progression? Because the investigator is undoubtedly viable in combat at higher levels once it gets discoveries and sneak attack, but my playtest so far showed it to be lukewarm at best at combat at level 1, even when I paid 10 points to get a 16 Strength to ameliorate this. Now, it was still awesome, as Alistair aced Knowledge (Local) checks and ran a sting operation on a little old lady. Also we couldn't stop laughing at how silly the Student of Philosophy trait is when roleplayed straight (always focusing on logical arguments, which somehow used my Int instead of Cha). Balancewise those traits that swap ability scores on skills probably should never have existed (or should have been limited to if you rolled them randomly on the background chart as in Ultimate Campaign rather than given free run in PFS), but they're certainly amusing.

Sorry, but no. That opening sentence "since the class has to be careful about overshadowing the rogue" is wrong. The Rogue is a bad class that is severely underpowered in this system. To balance a new class around rogue would just create another useless class.

Investigator should instead be balanced in comparison to classes like Ranger, Ninja, and Alchemist who do the Rogues job far better. Investigator is currently in a pretty good place and does not need any nerfing.


A few more thoughts:

  • Could Device Talent also let the investigator apply his Int instead of Cha to the Use Magic Device checks?

  • Could there be an "CSI/Autopsy" Talent that lets an investigator apply clues/data as bonuses to determining who-what-where-when-how-why at a crime scene, and as maybe defensive bonuses to AC or saves when facing that criminal in combat?

  • Perhaps instead of Poison Use, an investigator could gain something similar to the Nature's Healing ability of the Spell-less Ranger? Or a bonus to identifying and delaying/neutralizing poisons? In either case, he'd probably need Heal as a class skill.

  • +1ing the request to add Cognatogen to the list of available alchemist discoveries.


Also guns. My detective needs a pistol, the only chum he hopes he'll ever need to put a bullet in.

Grand Lodge

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Jeff Erwin wrote:

I think poison use makes sense. Poisons don't have to be evil, despite what the paladin says. If they incapacitate or take out someone without killing, they could be very handy. After all, ability damage heals.

And yes, Batman's belt has knockout gas. On Sherlock Holmes, read this article. Holmes was an expert on poisons and their use.

Holmes was absolutely an expert on poisons. But the only person he ever poisoned was himself. He wasn't applying contact poison to his riding crop.

And knockout gas would be closer to an alchemist's bomb, not the poison use special ability.

So that leaves Batman, Dexter, and arguably maybe grudgingly Sherlock Holmes in the "poison use" category.

By comparison in the non-poison use category we have:

Arsene Lupin, Auguste Dupin, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Philip Marlowe, Nero Wolfe, Albert Campion, Brother Cadfael, Charlie Chan, The Continental Op, Harry Dresden, Encyclopedia Brown, The Hardy Boys, Inspector Morse, Mike Hammer, Sgt. Cuff ...

...and that's just what I could think of off the top of my head and on a single TV Tropes page.

Poison use is not a hallmark of the cinematic or literary detective/inspector. It's a hallmark of the people the detective/inspector put in prison, and the examples above (batman & dexter) are subversions. Which is why it makes more sense for it to be an alternate or optional ability.


Andrew Boucher 88 wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:

Yeah, I wanted to start conservatively, since the class has to be careful about overshadowing the rogue. Maybe something else at lowest levels combined with reducing higher level sneak attack progression? Because the investigator is undoubtedly viable in combat at higher levels once it gets discoveries and sneak attack, but my playtest so far showed it to be lukewarm at best at combat at level 1, even when I paid 10 points to get a 16 Strength to ameliorate this. Now, it was still awesome, as Alistair aced Knowledge (Local) checks and ran a sting operation on a little old lady. Also we couldn't stop laughing at how silly the Student of Philosophy trait is when roleplayed straight (always focusing on logical arguments, which somehow used my Int instead of Cha). Balancewise those traits that swap ability scores on skills probably should never have existed (or should have been limited to if you rolled them randomly on the background chart as in Ultimate Campaign rather than given free run in PFS), but they're certainly amusing.

Sorry, but no. That opening sentence "since the class has to be careful about overshadowing the rogue" is wrong. The Rogue is a bad class that is severely underpowered in this system. To balance a new class around rogue would just create another useless class.

Investigator should instead be balanced in comparison to classes like Ranger, Ninja, and Alchemist who do the Rogues job far better. Investigator is currently in a pretty good place and does not need any nerfing.

I'm sorry, I think I didn't make myself clear--go back to the post that came before. I'm discussing buffing the class offensively at levels 1 and 2, and in that regard the worry is overshadowing the rogue offensively, since right now we already overshadow the rogue at everything else (and that's fine!).

Grand Lodge

Rynjin wrote:

There's also the fact that Poison Use stops you from accidentally poisoning yourself.

Actually using it? Maybe not.

Learning not to nick yourself and hope there's a Cleric around when you examine a poisoned weapon? Handy skill.

You don't need the poison use class ability to handle poisoned weapons, to examine poisoned weapons, to create poisons, or to research them.

The Poison Use class feature lets you apply poisons to weapons without the risk or poisoning yourself.

Which is why it doesn't fit with the investigator archetype. It has no benefit unless you are putting poison on your weapons in order to poison other people. Which, with the exception of Dexter (who is a subversion of the trope, being a serial killer himself) and Batman (who is the exception to every rule), doesn't fit with the archetype.

Grand Lodge

pH unbalanced wrote:
Pathfinder poison isn't save or die. Any investigator that uses knockout gas, chloroform, tranquilizer darts, or truth serum is using the Pathfinder equivalent of 'poison'.

The only one of these examples that would be impacted by the Poison Use special ability are "tranquilizer darts" but only darts that you are making yourself.

Any character can use knockout gas, chloroform, and/or truth serum without Poison Use because poison use only covers poisons you apply to weapons.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Those are fair points regarding Poison Use. I suspect if the fluff was more Master of Whispers a la GoT (or included it as an extension of the classes' implied role) we would be more in agreement. Personally, I think Poison should cover analysis and application of these other substances, but it doesn't...

Poison was a major part of spycraft and a tool of state in the Renaissance and Medieval period, and most investigators are likely to cover that role in a game (better than a rogue).


The class gets a resistance to poisons that eventually turns into immunity. Honestly, that's all you need, really.
Considering the job the Investigator would have, the poison resistance/immunity makes sense.
For those that can see the benefits of using poison (perhaps non-lethal, etc), then they only need to worry about rolling a 1 when attacking and wasting the poison on their immune selves (the 5% chance during application doesn't use up the poison). There's Rogue Talents (that they can take) that would expand the use of poisons.

I'd suggest the following change:

- Remove Poison Use
- Replace with Brew Potion

For a class that has Extracts (don't qualify as caster levels, right?), I think getting at least Brew Potion would help and be a nice replacement to the Poison Use feature.
I'm not worried about Master Alchemist (for those that want to make poisons or alchemical items), because they fall into the requirements. Brew Potion is off-limits without being thrown a bone here.

Grand Lodge

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Jeff Erwin wrote:
Those are fair points regarding Poison Use. I suspect if the fluff was more Master of Whispers a la GoT (or included it as an extension of the classes' implied role) we would be more in agreement.

We definitely would. I don't have a problem with poisons being used by non-evil characters, or poisoned weapons being used by classes beyond the ninja or rogue.

I guess my TL;DR of my thoughts on the Investigator is that the fluff of the class doesn't really seem to match what the class does.

The class description:

"Whether on the trail of a fugitive, a long-lost treasure trove, or the mastermind behind a dangerous conspiracy..."

...makes the class seem like less of a secret agent spy (where poison use would fit) and more of the golden age pulp detective type character (where it wouldn't).

I definitely think Bard/Alchemist would be a better mix than Rogue. The brawler class is an evolution of concepts that were previously archetypes for the fighter & monk. I think the Investigator would be a good evolution of archetypes that already exist for the bard (i.e. detective & archaeologist).

Shadow Lodge

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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Also guns. My detective needs a pistol, the only chum he hopes he'll ever need to put a bullet in.

I keep a magnum in one pocket and a whiskey in the other. Both are loaded.

Pretty much a guaranteed shoo-in for an archetype, but the base classes themselves are all avoiding guns it appears.


So a couple things;

First, like everybody else seems to, I feel poison use is kind of tacked on and it doesn't fit. I would much rather see something like Brew Potion.

Sneak Attack is OK but I think it should be different. Maybe not bombs, but if I had to chose between bombs and sneak attack I would totally take the Bombs. I'd come up with the idea of a quick-action ability that enhances your weapon for a hit or two.

and I really like the alchemy side of this. Again, would love to see brew potion on there, but not to let the rogue feel left out, uncanny dodge would be a welcome addition as well, maybe in an archetype.

So, maybe throw in Brew Potion, then replace Poison Use with Uncanny Dodge and change the Inspired Alertness talent to allow the investigator to gain the benefits of Improved Uncanny Dodge for a round per use, or some such.


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Aberrant Templar wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Those are fair points regarding Poison Use. I suspect if the fluff was more Master of Whispers a la GoT (or included it as an extension of the classes' implied role) we would be more in agreement.

We definitely would. I don't have a problem with poisons being used by non-evil characters, or poisoned weapons being used by classes beyond the ninja or rogue.

I guess my TL;DR of my thoughts on the Investigator is that the fluff of the class doesn't really seem to match what the class does.

The class description:

"Whether on the trail of a fugitive, a long-lost treasure trove, or the mastermind behind a dangerous conspiracy..."

...makes the class seem like less of a secret agent spy (where poison use would fit) and more of the golden age pulp detective type character (where it wouldn't).

I definitely think Bard/Alchemist would be a better mix than Rogue. The brawler class is an evolution of concepts that were previously archetypes for the fighter & monk. I think the Investigator would be a good evolution of archetypes that already exist for the bard (i.e. detective & archaeologist).

Adding to my note about guns from earlier cross-referenced with the poison use discussion (real deal English-major level stuff up-ins):

Part of the noir/golden age detective trope is that he carried a gun. The detective may or may not have been all that deadly on his own, but a blunt brutal piece of technology allowed him to become dangerous. The weapon's simple effectiveness and violence was a reflection of the ethos of the character: a thoughtful person who observes the world around him but is prepared to kill out of necessity. If we don't want to give the detective a gun for this purpose then we can give him poison.

Side note: Walter White is a high level investigator.


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Orthos wrote:
I keep a magnum in one pocket and a whiskey in the other. Both are loaded.

"I keep two magnums in my desk. One of them is a gun, and I keep it loaded. The other one is a bottle, and it keeps me loaded."

--Calvin & Hobbes.


Orthos wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Also guns. My detective needs a pistol, the only chum he hopes he'll ever need to put a bullet in.

I keep a magnum in one pocket and a whiskey in the other. Both are loaded.

Pretty much a guaranteed shoo-in for an archetype, but the base classes themselves are all avoiding guns it appears.

well, at least we've got the gunslinger, swashbuckler, and (while not always allowed) the trench fighter archetype.


Orthos wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Also guns. My detective needs a pistol, the only chum he hopes he'll ever need to put a bullet in.

I keep a magnum in one pocket and a whiskey in the other. Both are loaded.

Pretty much a guaranteed shoo-in for an archetype, but the base classes themselves are all avoiding guns it appears.

Just take the rogue talent Firearm Training

Then take the rogue talent for Amateur Gunlisnger and a second bonus Grit Feat.


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titanius_anglesmith wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:

This is my favorite class so far (only up to Slayer), and I really enjoy the Inspiration pool feature. It helps make it seem less like just a hybrid and more of its own thing.

The only thing I don't like, actually, is the Sneak Attack. This doesn't really seem to fit the concept. I think changing this out for something else, or else making it a slightly different take on Sneak Attack (something that draws on the Inspiration pool, for instance) would work better.

I agree with your stance on sneak attack. Maybe extra damage based on perception checks, (seeing weak spots, previous injuries, etc.) since it fits with observation/deduction.

Honestly, I like the idea of extra damage based on perception and knowledge skills A LOT. It fits, it's unique, it makes sense.


Lord_Malkov wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Also guns. My detective needs a pistol, the only chum he hopes he'll ever need to put a bullet in.

I keep a magnum in one pocket and a whiskey in the other. Both are loaded.

Pretty much a guaranteed shoo-in for an archetype, but the base classes themselves are all avoiding guns it appears.

Just take the rogue talent Firearm Training

Then take the rogue talent for Amateur Gunlisnger and a second bonus Grit Feat.

I will if nothing is provided, but it ought to be an archetype eventually. Maybe get dex to damage instead of sneak attack even? Or sneak attack limited to just guns?

The mind boggles with wondrous possibilities of flying lead.

Dark Archive

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Pistol archetype can swap out poison use and some SA progression in exchange for gun training, a trenchcoat and a smooth, shiny girl, hard boiled and loaded with sin.

“The streets were dark with something more then night.”
― Raymond Chandler


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With this class, I will take the first possible opportunity to swap out sneak attack.... I think I would trade it for a single bonus feat.

Seriously.... does not fit.

Just because the rogue gets it doesn't mean that a roguish hybrid needs it. Something based on knowledge would be way cooler.

Just as an example, how about this idea:

You gain a bonus on damage equal to your ranks in a related knowledge skill:

Arcana = Magical Beasts and Dragons
Dungeoneering = Aberrations and Oozes
Local = Humanoids of that region
Religion = Outsiders and Undead
Nature = Animals and Fey

To use this bonus, you have to successfully identify the creature, and spend one inspiration point. After spending the point you get the bonus to damage against that one creature for a number of rounds equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1)


deuxhero wrote:
titanius_anglesmith wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:

This is my favorite class so far (only up to Slayer), and I really enjoy the Inspiration pool feature. It helps make it seem less like just a hybrid and more of its own thing.

The only thing I don't like, actually, is the Sneak Attack. This doesn't really seem to fit the concept. I think changing this out for something else, or else making it a slightly different take on Sneak Attack (something that draws on the Inspiration pool, for instance) would work better.

I agree with your stance on sneak attack. Maybe extra damage based on perception checks, (seeing weak spots, previous injuries, etc.) since it fits with observation/deduction.
Honestly, I like the idea of extra damage based on perception and knowledge skills A LOT. It fits, it's unique, it makes sense.

When they first mentioned it was a Sherlock type class, I absolutely expected this due to the RObert Downey films and how they show combat. While I think it's dumb in the movies, for an RPG class it'd be a great mechanic.


Local is actually a single skill, but otherwise I like using knowledge to boost damage.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Kaisoku wrote:

The class gets a resistance to poisons that eventually turns into immunity. Honestly, that's all you need, really.

Considering the job the Investigator would have, the poison resistance/immunity makes sense.
For those that can see the benefits of using poison (perhaps non-lethal, etc), then they only need to worry about rolling a 1 when attacking and wasting the poison on their immune selves (the 5% chance during application doesn't use up the poison). There's Rogue Talents (that they can take) that would expand the use of poisons.

Actually, in PFS, Poison Use is required to purchase poisons in the first place. (Unless they're on a chronicle sheet...which they almost never are.) And crafting isn't allowed. So...if you want to have poisons in your bag of tricks, you are required to have the Poison Use class feature.

As all the Rogue archetypes that have Poison Use got it by swapping out Trapfinding, there is currently a void in PFS for a character that has both Trapfinding and Poison Use.

All of which is part of why I *really* want Poison Use to stay as part of the base class.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
KestlerGunner wrote:

I had my hopes up for this but I am really disappointed by the alchemist focus.

If the Investigator is as cunning as the flavour implies, why haven't they just learnt to cast spells? Why do they need a chemistry set? I want to love the Investigator but the alchemy, poison side of the class seems 'tacked on'. I'd love it if this class could receive a major rewrite.

If I was in your shoes, I'd remove the alchemy side of things and introduce bard 'jack of all trades' spells instead.
I would remove alchemical abilities and instead start using Pathfinder Savant prestige abilities and introduce a focus on UMD. The Investigator is resourceful - they would use all resources identified that comes to hand during a mission.

Please rethink the alchemy angle on this :(

It's forensics. Duh. :P

(I do agree with others that the poison us seems a little forced though.)


deuxhero wrote:
Local is actually a single skill, but otherwise I like using knowledge to boost damage.

I also left out Planes, which would be Outsiders and Elementals.

Either way, I think this would be pretty awesome. It would scale just like challenge, but you could have more uses per day. The caveat being that you would need to invest skill points to get the full bonus and it only lasts Int mod number of rounds.

Anyway... it just fits better than SA


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I think that poison use can fit the class quite well, but there needs to be more "utility" poison.

In 3.5, causing ability damage via poison was an evil act, but using poisons which did not cause ability damage was not an evil act. Amusingly, this made drow sleep poison one of the only non-evil poisons in the game. Regardless, I can definitely see the investigator using poisons that would've been considered "non-evil" in 3.5.

The poison use class feature makes me imagine something like this exchange, happening while the investigator is trading words and blows with his nemesis:
Investigator: "Where are you hiding the princess!?"
Nemesis: "You'll never find her. She's hidden away in one of the kegs in the basement of the Strongbolt Inn. Wait... what have you done to me?"
Investigator: "Clearly, you did not notice the peculiar sheen on my blade. You see, there's a red mushroom which grows only in the Embeth Forest, which can be used to create a potent truth serum."


Honestly a "poison use" talent should have existed a long time ago.


First impressions:
Even though I never liked Sneak attack or poison use, I still love this class. Anyone knowing how much dislike SA will understand just how much I like this class.

BTW, at last one more vanilla class with trapfinding.

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pH unbalanced wrote:
Kaisoku wrote:

The class gets a resistance to poisons that eventually turns into immunity. Honestly, that's all you need, really.

Considering the job the Investigator would have, the poison resistance/immunity makes sense.
For those that can see the benefits of using poison (perhaps non-lethal, etc), then they only need to worry about rolling a 1 when attacking and wasting the poison on their immune selves (the 5% chance during application doesn't use up the poison). There's Rogue Talents (that they can take) that would expand the use of poisons.

Actually, in PFS, Poison Use is required to purchase poisons in the first place. (Unless they're on a chronicle sheet...which they almost never are.) And crafting isn't allowed. So...if you want to have poisons in your bag of tricks, you are required to have the Poison Use class feature.

As all the Rogue archetypes that have Poison Use got it by swapping out Trapfinding, there is currently a void in PFS for a character that has both Trapfinding and Poison Use.

All of which is part of why I *really* want Poison Use to stay as part of the base class.

Either that, or make a Poisoner archetype for the Investigator that gets both and remains PFS legal.


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I could see poison use working if there were some poisons that had more interesting effects. I would love to see some poisons that give some conditions, vs. ability damage, used by this class. They could mimic the dirty trick mechanic but last Int mod rounds, save DC based off Int. or just use the Alchemical Weapon ability from the Grenadier archetype.


So, I don't know how practical (if at all) this would be, but I think the following would be amusing.

Half Orc Investigator.

Pick up Mutagen by means of an investigator talent.

Use Bull's Strength

Use Enlarge Person.

Swing a large great axe with sneak attack damage. At the earliest possible level of 4th, this translates into +4 Strength from Mutagen (Alchemical), +4 strength from Bull's Strength (Enhancement), +2 Strength from Enlarge Person (Size) with the increase in weapon size.

So it's 3d6 + 15 (10 plus half again as two handed) +1d6 sneak attack damage. Minimum hit is 19 damage.

This amuses me. Especially if you play the investigator type who only keeps a mutagen around for emergencies.

Grand Lodge

Jeff Erwin wrote:
Either that, or make a Poisoner archetype for the Investigator that gets both and remains PFS legal.

^- This. I think poison and firearms would both be better as archetypes of this class than base abilities.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And you can get a mutagen and make infusions. Yikes, but this class is full of win.


pH unbalanced wrote:
The types of investigators that I am thinking of are more like Michael Westen, MacGyver, or the Impossible Missions group.

None of those listed are investigators...

-MacGyver is a Secret Agent.

-Michael Westen is a Spy for the CIA.

-The "Mission:Impossible" groups are Secret Government Agents.

Spy and Secret Agent are both very different from an investigator. Sure, a Spy and a Secret Agent both focus on getting information, like an investigator, but a Spy and Secret Agent tend to have some form of large organization helping them, are assassins, and are secretive. An investigator isn't all that secretive, and they tend not to go around assassinating people. Investigators find out who committed a crime, they don't proceed to kill them.

This does, however, give me a thought. The option (maybe as a talent, I don't know) to get a "Knock-out bomb" that functions similarly to the Alchemist's bombs, except do non-lethal damage, or a gas variant that requires a Fortitude save to stay conscious and makes no sound.

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I'm of the opinion that Spy and Secret Agent should be covered by Investigator archetypes, however. I think the fluff for this class is a bit narrow, since mechanically it's quite successful at fulfilling not just the PI, but also the gadgeteer, scientist, poisoner, and criminal mastermind roles.

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